Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXXIII No. 8, August 1-15, 2023

Our Readers Write

Creating a rich repository with detailed documentation should be a priority

The article TN Government seems to wake up to heritage at last. Will private players follow? (Vol. XXXIII No. 6, July 1-15, 2023) rightly brings forward the work done by the Public Works Department (PWD) in Tamil Nadu with respect to heritage buildings. Of late, there have been a number of projects which they have taken up and the efforts are commendable. The Building Centre and Conservation Division (BCCD)of the PWD is to be appreciated for the same. Whereas sincere efforts are in place there are also questions on the processes which are followed. It will be highly appreciated if the PWD openly comes up with reports/books etc at the end of each project clearly specifying facts and bringing out the efforts they had taken to bring back the buildings to past glory. Usually, while taking up heritage conservation, critical decisions are taken regarding which part/style of the building to restore to, selection of materials, detailing etc., the post project documentation should contain these critical decisions and reasons behind the same. Many ideal conservation projects follow this world wide and it will be great and befitting for an organization like PWD to follow suit. This should be kept as open access for others to learn and understand. It will surely be a precursor for many projects in the future where the buildings are taken up for restoration.

The other thing that is of great importance is detailed architectural documentation of heritage buildings to create a repository. It is ideal that all heritage buildings are restored and maintained well for the future, but in today’s context all buildings may not be restored due to various reasons like lack of resources. Whether any government departments or private entities take heritage restoration on priority or not, it will prove worthy if all heritage buildings are professionally documented to the smallest of details. It is generally observed we are losing heritage buildings slowly. Also in the buildings which are standing today, we are losing some parts one by one. In this context it is extremely necessary to have this database so as to restore these buildings at a later date. The PWD/CMDA/GCC or any other governmental departments/private entities should make it a point to carry out this documentation through professionals which will surely be a rich resource in the future whenever any historic building restoration is taken up. It is high time that these funds are sanctioned, before it is too late. A process of this kind was taken up by INTACH, of which the result was the book Madras: The Architectural Heritage by K. Kalpana and Frank Schiffer, a rich resource of Chennai heritage. This book is one of its kind and acts as a very important resource for anyone related to the heritage resource of the city. A number of heritage buildings are documented in this book but many more still remain undocumented. The priority now should be to document all the heritage buildings to the greatest of details by roping in professionals and use it for the future.

Ar. Muzakkir G.M. Bijli
Associate Professor
MEASI Academy of Architecture, Chennai

MCG visit

I was happy to read the letter by Arumugam in MM, July 1st, where he mentions MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). This brings back happy memories to me.

My wife and I travelled to Australia in March 2017 and paid a visit to MCG on a Sunday. Just the previous day, we had beaten Australia at the Dharamshala Cricket Ground and won the series. We were taken around MCG in a group that had about 20 tourists, mostly from England. I happily shared the news that India had beaten Australia in a Test match the previous day and won the Series. There was general applause from the group, though of course the Australian MCG Guide looked the other way!

I must add that our visit to MCG was a very memorable one. It is an immaculately maintained stadium. We wish our own MAC all the very best.

R. Santhanam

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Updated